Media attention regarding this incident has already started to wane.  In a week or two, a glance at the local news station or the newspaper will show no signs of the awful events that unfolded on April 16, 2007.

And while much of the media has focused on their attention to the killer and his motives, you have a unique opportunity to highlight those quiet souls lost to his violence.

Most newspapers have converted their obituary pages to some form of paid funeral notice.  This memorial idea will require you to spend some time and cash to place paid notices.

I’d like to see a funeral home willing to spend money every day to highlight one of the 32 people killed by the gunman at Virginia Tech.  Placed as a paid notice, each could conceivably include a photograph and information about the deceased’s life.  Each could end with a request for donations to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund.  The bottom of each would, ideally, include the words, “Notice provided by your friends at:” with the funeral home logo.

Obituaries of many of the victims are available online.  Getting permission to reprint some or all is as close as a phone call away, if you feel you need to seek it.  I found this written about Dr. Kevin Granata, one of the victims:

If professional achievement and boundless human qualities were keys to a long life, Kevin Granata, Ph.D., would not have died on Monday April 17. He was one of 32 students and faculty slain by a gunman on the campus of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern United States history. The reaction to his death from colleagues is testament to the untimeliness and tragedy of this particular death.

This type of public outreach would educate the community about those lost, highlight the role of the funeral home as “life storyteller” and remind everyone that you are a caring force in the area for a full 32 days.

Of course, being as big a fan of the internet as I am, I’d feature the person from the obit page on my website that day.  I’d also provide links to other sites that feature their life story and news reports about the experiences of their family as they face life without their loved one.

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